The bosom of the art world heaves with passion tonight thanks to "Chiaroscuro," an exhibition guest curated by Danielle Steel. For those of us who know next to nothing about contemporary painting but feel compelled to raise an eyebrow at any gallery show involving a celebrity, this is a wonderful opportunity to lampoon both art and romance. While the thematic focus on juxtapositions of dark and light suffers from a disappointing lack of swollen manhoods, bodice-ripping, and female orgasms compared to ocean waves crashing against the shore, it still manages to remain fraught with meaning for Danielle Steel. Perhaps it reminds her of the alabaster breasts of a heroine pressed against the tawny flesh of her gardener. Whatever the source of inspiration, the longtime art collector and San Francisco resident has gathered work from a variety of artists, including Seamus Conley, Christine Vaillancourt, Tina Vietmeier, Cara Barer, Perry Burns, and Tom McKinley. Each one creates serious art, so anybody dropping by the gallery to see paintings of bare-chested Greek gods with shoulder-length blonde hair riding horses on the beach will be sorely disappointed to discover that Danielle Steel has a taste for imagery that transcends cliché.
Jan. 4-31, 2008